Ferris Robinson: Love In The Time Of Corona

Monday, May 25, 2020 - by Ferris Robinson
Ferris Robinson
Ferris Robinson

We all know this is a scary time. Mass panic seems to prevail, and it’s hard to take a full breath of air because we’re so wrought up with fear and worry and apprehension.

I’m the worst. I worry about the people I love, some of them most at risk for this virus, and at the beginning, I was hyper-focused on how to prevent it and survive it and ride it out without too much inconvenience.

I did not hoard toilet paper or hand sanitizer, but I grabbed extra items off the grocery shelves the last time I shopped, just in case …

Obsessed with social media and searching for updates and reports as my blood pressure rose and my heart rate increased, I came across a Facebook post from Jan Weaver on my community’s neighborhood page. At the first hint of the Covid-19 crisis, she asked how to identify members of the community in need. “We are a very generous community and I know people who are willing to share, even if they don’t have many supplies … We need to check on elderly neighbors or people new to the community who may not have many connections. This is an opportunity to do what we do best - care about each other,” she posted.

A few days later, my neighbor Leah Daniels sent a group text to our street, offering to pick up anything as she was still going to work each day. May May McGuire immediately chimed in with the same offer. Mike Willingham, Bob Zendejas and Jack Zibluk are a few of the folks who announced on Facebook that they were going to the store and could pick anything up for folks who needed supplies.

Concerned with children missing lunch because of school closings, Erik Cilen of the New York Pizza Department, offered free pizza to any hungry child, no questions asked. And they came by the thousands.

In the thick of the Covid-19 crisis, siblings Bo and Hope Newberry founded Lookout for America, a three-color system for neighbors caring for neighbors. It’s basically what Leah, May May, Mike, Bob and Jack are all doing, but it encompasses the country. Their system of signals shows the status of neighbors, making it easy for neighbors to watch out for each other. A green flag means all is well; a yellow flag means that neighbor is in need of items, which are listed and attached to the flag; and red designates that neighbor as sick or high risk. So, if you are driving along and spot a yellow marker on a mailbox or front door or oak tree, you can check to see if that person needs aspirin or a thermometer or whatever emergency item is on the list. Then you get those items, leave them outside the neighbor’s front door, and vamoose. There is no contact, but you just did something important. All of these interactions take place between noon and 2 p.m., and they can take a strain off of our heroic emergency personnel.

There is nothing overly official about Lookout for America, and that’s the beauty of it. Hang a green St. Paddy Day T-shirt, or blonde wig or red Santa hat outside your door, depending on your status. Jot down your emergency item and safety pin it to the wig or yellow construction paper or sock. And if you’re in a neighborhood that you’re not familiar with, see what’s on that list and help. We’re all neighbors, whether we’re on the Facebook neighborhood page or not.

One of the many funny Facebook posts announced that we are all about to see each other’s true hair color, and that might be scary. We are definitely seeing each other’s true colors in this community, and that’s anything but scary.

(Ferris Robinson is the author of  two children's books, "The Queen Who Banished Bugs" and "The Queen Who Accidentally Banished Birds," in her pollinator series, with "Call Me Arthropod" coming soon. "Making Arrangements" is her first novel, and "Dogs and Love - Stories of Fidelity" is a collection of true tales about man's best friend. Her website is ferrisrobinson.com. She is the editor of The Lookout Mountain Mirror and The Signal Mountain Mirror. Ferris can be reached at ferrisrobinson@gmail.com )


CPD Announce National Night Out Is Cancelled

Intersection At Market And 7th Streets To Be Closed Sunday For A Crane Lift

Riverwalk Bridge At Scrappy Moore Field To Be Closed For Repairs On Monday


The Chattanooga Police Department announces that due to COVID-19, Chattanooga’s annual National Night Out is cancelled. But community members and police working together is still on, officials ... (click for more)

The intersection of Market Street and 7th Street will be closed all day on Sunday, for a crane lift. The public should use Broad Street as an alternate route or follow the detour signs. ... (click for more)

The Riverwalk’s bridge at Scrappy Moore Field will be closed Monday morning, due to repair work. (click for more)



Happenings

CPD Announce National Night Out Is Cancelled

The Chattanooga Police Department announces that due to COVID-19, Chattanooga’s annual National Night Out is cancelled. But community members and police working together is still on, officials said. In Chattanooga, National Night Out is traditionally held the first Tuesday of October. Neighborhoods and the CPD organize events that help residents and officers get to know one ... (click for more)

Intersection At Market And 7th Streets To Be Closed Sunday For A Crane Lift

The intersection of Market Street and 7th Street will be closed all day on Sunday, for a crane lift. The public should use Broad Street as an alternate route or follow the detour signs. View CDOT's map of road closures for full details and location of reported closures due to emergencies or construction. (click for more)

Breaking News

Hamilton County Has 2 More COVID Deaths And 91 More Cases

Hamilton County has two new coronavirus deaths as the toll climbs to 94. The number of new cases in Hamilton County on Friday was 91 - up from the prior day's 64. The new total is 9,542. Hamilton County has had 8,833 people recover from the virus (93 percent) and there are 615 active cases - up from 603 yesterday. There are 52 people hospitalized in the county from coronavirus, ... (click for more)

Chattooga And Walker Counties Each Have Another COVID Death; Georgia Has 53 Deaths

Georgia state health officials reported on Friday there have been an additional 53 deaths due to the coronavirus. The new total is 6,874. There were 1,547 new cases as that total reached 312,514 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Hospitalizations are at 28,035, up 132 from Thursday. Here are the numbers by county: Catoosa County: 1,171 cases, up 16; 18 deaths; 77 ... (click for more)

Opinion

Increase The Pay Rate For Substitutes

Today Hamilton County Schools had 138 requests for substitutes. The answer to filing those classrooms is simple, increase the daily pay for substitutes. The pay rate is terrible for both certified and noncertified individuals. Knox County wised up and increased the pay. If a substitute works 10 to 14 days a month, he or she would receive an additional $300. If the person worked ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Nashville's Big Day

The Nashville Election Commission will meet this afternoon to vote on whether to conduct a city-wide special election on Dec. 5. A grass roots group says they have enough signatures to bring a controversial 34 percent tax increase to the voters. Oh, the increase has already been approved, alright, but Nashville is the state’s Waterloo argue others, and if the city government goes ... (click for more)